Chapter Two: Sexual Assault Statistics and Facts

Children and adolescents have the highest rates of crime victimization, yet the statistics and crimes against them are the least reported.

  • Sexual assault on children is extremely difficult to determine because a majority of cases are not reported – either out of the child’s fear or they do not have enough education about the acts or consequences. "Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted."
  • "Three out of four adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well."
    • It is for this reason that parents must always educate their children on sexual assault and abuse so children can catch onto warning signs and reject advances or inform an adult.
  • Girls are much more vulnerable to sexual assault, with "1 in 5 girls" reported as being a "victim of child sexual abuse" in comparison to "1 in 20 boys."

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  • Although children and teenagers of all ages are susceptible to child sexual assault and/or abuse, children between the ages of 7-13 are statistically shown to be the most vulnerable.
  • As such, "Juveniles are substantially more likely than adults to be assaulted."
    • As mentioned, young children are the most vulnerable to being victims of any sort of sexual abuse, including rape.
  • More specifically, the "year in a male’s life when he is most likely to be the victim of a sexual assault (rape) is age 4."
    • Vulnerability of rape at such a young age is most often the result of the offender having a previous relationship with the child i.e., a family friend, family member, babysitter, step-parent, etc.
  • This finding goes hand in hand with the statistic that states that "70% of…sexual assaults reported to law enforcement occurred in the residence of the victim, the offender, or the residence of another individual. The age of the victim…is strongly related to where the assault occurred."
    • While older victims were more likely to be victimized in places other than homes and private spaces, younger victims most often reported rape in a familiar home or even their own home, supporting the likelihood of a prior relationship with the offender.
  • Though it is often thought that rapists are threatening, older men, statistics show that in 9 out of 10 rapes in which the victim was under the age of 18, so was the offender.
  • "In about 88% of forcible rapes, the victim and offender were of the same race."
  • The effects of rape and sexual abuse are incredibly traumatizing and can ruin a child’s life at an early age.
  • Here are some statistics that illustrate the effects of rape on younger children:
    • 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
    • 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
    • 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
    • 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
  • In contrast to rapists and sexual assaults, pedophiles tend to be older males.
  • Studies show that "up to 44% of pedophiles were in the older adult age range (40-70) [and] made up 60% of all older offenders."
  • According to an article from USA Today, "Most sexual offenders were sexually abused as children; 40% to 80% of pedophiles were raped as a child. The large majority of them learn to do what they do by acts done unto them. Others [aren’t understood as well.] Pedophiles often target and abuse children who are the same age the predator was when he was first sexually abused."
  • About 70% of pedophiles are diagnosed with another paraphilia.
  • The second most common paraphilia, and what most other pedophiles suffer from, is exhibitionism.
  • "Although the stereotype of an exhibitionist is a "dirty old man in a raincoat," most males arrested for exhibitionism are in their late teens or early twenties."
    • Most of these men in the U.S. are Caucasian males, and about half of them are married.
    • If left untreated, 91% of exhibitionists repeat their offense within four years.
  • In some states and counties, the act of "mooning" can be considered exhibitionism and one could be arrested, jailed, and treated the same as if they had exposed their genitals to a child.
    • It is always important to check the laws in your county and be aware that certain acts people may think of as practical jokes may in fact be considered sexual advances and have serious consequences.

Responsibly educating yourself and teaching your children the difference between sexual advances and "jokes" can save them from traumatizing and dangerous acts of violence or criminal behavior.